PFT’s Week 15 picks

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I’m finally getting some separation. Just in time to blow it.

A 10-6 week, including a 3-1 record against MDS on games where we conflicts, has turned a three-game lead into a five-game wedge with three weeks left.

I’m at 131-77 (62.9 percent) for the year, and MDS is at 126-82 (60.5 percent).

We’ve also got a new “best bets” video for your consideration. Last week, I went 2-1 against the spread. MDS was 1-2.

For all picks in all games, scroll away. You’ll see four disagreements.

Chargers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chargers have been at the outskirts of the truly elite all season. That can change with a win at Kansas City. But I don’t see it happening. This Chiefs team is just too good.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Chargers 27.

Florio’s take: The team with no real home-field advantage still has a shot at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Just enough Chiefs are banged up to create a real opening for the Chargers. But the Chiefs have beaten the Chargers nine times in a row, and the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Chargers 24.


Texans at Jets

MDS’s take: Jets quarterback Sam Darnold showed a little bit of promise last week, and the Texans suffered a tough loss. That makes this game just a little more interesting, but I can’t see the Jets making it two in a row.

MDS’s pick: Texans 27, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: Houston picks itself up, dusts itself off. Which is much easier to do when the opponent is the Jets.

Florio’s pick: Texans 23, Jets 10.


Browns at Broncos

MDS’s take: Not exactly a marquee Saturday prime time game, but Baker Mayfield against the Denver defense will make things interesting. I like the Broncos to win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 23, Browns 20.

Florio’s take: The Browns keep laying the foundation for a special 2019.

Florio’s pick: Browns 27, Broncos 20.


Packers at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears are about to clinch the NFC North. How many people saw that coming when the Packers beat them in Week One?

MDS’s pick: Bears 28, Packers 20.

Florio’s take: The Packers have been getting plenty of help in their unlikely quest for the playoffs. But they will have a hard time helping themselves.

Florio’s pick: Bears 24, Packers 17. 


Lions at Bills

MDS’s take: The Lions’ offense has struggled to complete anything downfield, and the Bills’ defense is strong. I think Buffalo wins a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Bills 14, Lions 13.

Florio’s take: Matt Patricia finishes 3-1 against the division he spent years competing in.

Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Bills 21.


Buccaneers at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens’ defense should shut down Jameis Winston, and Baltimore will keep running the ball with Lamar Jackson now officially the starter.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 20, Buccaneers 13.

Florio’s take: The Ravens know they can still win the division — and they probably will.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Buccaneers 16.


Cardinals at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Falcons have been perhaps the NFL’s most disappointing team this season, but even still, they really can’t lose to the Cardinals at home. Can they?

MDS’s pick: Falcons 21, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: Less than two months before the Super Bowl will be played in Atlanta, we get this in the same stadium.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 21, Cardinals 13.


Raiders at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Raiders showed last week that they’re playing to win, but I have a hunch that Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel is going to have a good game against a bad Raiders defense.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 28, Raiders 24.

Florio’s take: The Raiders are determined to screw up their shot at the No. 1 overall pick, and the Bengals just aren’t good.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 20, Bengals 16.


Titans at Giants

MDS’s take: The Giants have played much better over the second half of the season, and I think they’ll keep it going and end the Titans’ playoff hopes.

MDS’s pick: Giants 21, Titans 20.

Florio’s take:  The Giants have sparked the kind of late-season run that will make it even harder to draft Eli Manning’s replace, or to even replace him at all. The Titans will do their part to help on both counts.

Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Giants 17.


Dolphins at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings should have a few new wrinkles in their offense this week, and I expect them to make some big plays in the passing game to beat the Dolphins.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 30, Dolphins 20.

Florio’s take: Lose this one, and it’s likely over for Minnesota.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 23, Dolphins 14.


Washington at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Josh Johnson vs. Cody Kessler should be something. I’m not sure what it will be, but it’s something.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 9, Washington 6.

Florio’s take: Josh Johnson will wish he had stayed in the AAF after this one.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 24, Washington 10.


Cowboys at Colts

MDS’s take: This is a big one between two teams in the playoff hunt. The Colts need it more, and I think they’ll get the win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Cowboys 23.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys have won enough games to not be facing a “must” win situation. The Colts are. Sometimes, it’s that simple.

Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Cowboys 20.


Seahawks at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Seahawks are cruising toward the playoffs, where they’ll be a dangerous road opponent for an NFC division winner in January.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, 49ers 13.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks will end up as the No. 5 seed, win or lose. That won’t stop them from trying to stomp the 49ers.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, 49ers 17.


Patriots at Steelers

MDS’s take: Both teams are reeling after disappointing losses on Sunday. I trust Bill Belichick more than Mike Tomlin to get his team back on track.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Steelers 17.

Florio’s take: The Steelers are getting the worst possible team at the worst possible time.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 17.


Eagles at Rams

MDS’s take: Jared Goff has played poorly two weeks in a row, but he should bounce back and keep the Rams in contention for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: Philly’s slim playoff hopes officially fall to none.

Florio’s pick: Rams 38, Eagles 21.


Saints at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Panthers are collapsing, and the Saints will keep that going.

MDS’s pick: Saints 20, Panthers 10.

Florio’s take: Not long ago, this looked like one of the best games of the year. Now? Not.

Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Panthers 20.

71 responses to “PFT’s Week 15 picks

  1. Ravens over Bucs – Ravens don’t need a top defense to beat this team but they do and they will!
    Falcons over Cardinals – Both teams have not lived up to their earlier prediction for this year but the cardinals are playing for better draft pick…
    Saints over Panthers – Saints are trending upward and the panthers downward…

  2. Like the comment on the Pats/Steelers game. This really does come down to coaching. I do not like the arrogance of Pats fans, but I sure like BB against MT, even if BB has looked a little human for a while.

  3. Aaron will soon be available to do a bunch more commercials while the playoffs commence this season…. wonder if he’ll have one durring the Super Bowl…… that’s the only way he’ll be part of the game!!!

  4. ariani1985 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm
    Don’t worry, packers still have the off season championship to bask in!

    ————————————————————————

    I dont know about my fellow Vikings fans but Im too worried about another epic Vikings collapse with another overpaid quarterback to troll Packer fans.

  5. “The Falcons have been the most disappointing team this year “?? That’s funny since the Eagle fans assured us they were the next dynasty, I would assume the Eagles were the most disappointing team this year.

  6. ariani1985 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm
    Don’t worry, packers still have the off season championship to bask in!

    ————

    Unlike the Vikings, the Packers’ trophy case is not empty

  7. The question for Packers/Bears is can the Bears get some love from the refs playing on their home field? Between O-line holding no-calls and defensive holding/PI bailout calls on incomplete throws, it seems like the stripes have tilted the table in favor of Rodgers and Co. for quite some time.

  8. 3 points (basically home field advantage) is the margin of victory for the Chiefs over the Chargers?

    A lot of Chiefs fans are going to be upset both of you aren’t calling for the Chiefs to blow the Chargers out (pun absolutely intended) . There is that one Cheifs fan who even suggested the Chargers coaches are holding their “hurt” players back because they know they can’t win in KC

  9. The most Raiders thing possible would be to win meaningless games and screw up their draft position, so yeah, they’ll win this week and next week too.

    Also I don’t necessarily like Carolina to win, but I like them +6.5 as a bet.

  10. Chiefs-Chargers: I think the Chargers *can* do it, but it will be tough for them to do it this week. With their two top runners (likely) out, they won’t be able to slow the game down enough to keep up. Their fate probably depends on winning the turnover battle.

    Pats-Steelers: If it comes down to coaching, hard to pick against the Pats. The margins seem to be getting closer with on-field execution, but the Steelers seem to be at a disadvantage in the running game here.

    Colts-Cowboys: This is the kind of game the Cowboys usually lose. Just like the Saints & Eagles games…

  11. pointtwopsiistheissue says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    “The Falcons have been the most disappointing team this year “?? That’s funny since the Eagle fans assured us they were the next dynasty, I would assume the Eagles were the most disappointing team this year.

    ————————-

    I thought that when reading it…but I think it’s less disappointing because we can see a lot of the reason is injuries. Some of it is departed players like Burton and Blount. Some of it is Groh and the loss of Reich. Some of it is Wentz not playing up to last year. Some of it is hangover. But I honestly think most of it is injuries. If we have a few more healthy D backs and RB’s, we’re likely 9-4 right now.

  12. jdubkc says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm
    Chiefs by 2 TD’s. Easy.
    ————————-
    If the Chiefs win by 14 pts, it won’t be easy.

  13. I dont know about my fellow Vikings fans but Im too worried about another epic Vikings collapse with another overpaid quarterback to troll Packer fans.
    —–
    He’s not, because he’s not actually a fan…he only posts to troll. The next time he makes a post about the Vikings will be his first. It’s all about the Packers for that guy.

  14. Nothing says Cowboys win like MDS AND Florio picking against them. Remember, those two guys would likely be last and second to last in your year long pickem pool.

  15. TruFBFan says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm
    Like the comment on the Pats/Steelers game. This really does come down to coaching. I do not like the arrogance of Pats fans, but I sure like BB against MT, even if BB has looked a little human for a while.

    ————–

    There may be some arrogant Patriots fans out there, but most of us are still worried! Both teams have to win.

    One point is if Houston lose @ Jets somehow on Saturday it will take a bit of the pressure off the Patriots for the second seed as they could afford to lose one more game.

    Something to watch.

  16. Hope y’all keep picking against the Cowboys. They may just drink your Haterade all the way to late January 🙂

  17. Vikings hsve a new play caller that has NEVER called games before. You think it’s second nature to him. Expect a learning curve and mistakes to be made. And y’all acting like miami isn’t desperate either. If they lose they are mostly eliminated. It’s a playoff game in a dome. Miami has the edge. Miami wins by 3.

  18. Steelers still have to play NO and NE, plus their locker room is imploding. Starting to feel pretty good about the Ravens winning the AFC North.

  19. boisestatewhodat says:
    December 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    NFC Playoffs will run through New Orleans. We all know exactly what that means!

    WHO DAT!!

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    Another Bountygate!

  20. Incredibly frustrating to watch the Patriots defense this year. everyone score at will on them. I’m afraid with Big Ben in there, injured or not. Patriots will need to win 42-38 to win this game. No way will the score be 20-17

  21. Chiefs defense gets a score tonight and Rivers has two turnovers. Hill returns a punt to the 5 yardline and Mahomes throws 4 TD’s, Kelce has his first 💯 yard game against the Chargers.

    Chiefs 42
    Chargers 28

  22. I would love to see the Chargers beat the Chiefs, but I just don’t see it happening in Kansas City. If the Chargers win, it will probably be by a field goal like against the Steelers a few weeks ago. Their defense has to force turnovers and make stops…

  23. pauldeba says:
    December 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Incredibly frustrating to watch the Patriots defense this year. everyone score at will on them. I’m afraid with Big Ben in there, injured or not. Patriots will need to win 42-38 to win this game. No way will the score be 20-17

    0

    0

    ——————-

    Could not be further from the truth. NE’s D was pitching a shutout last week in the second half and was about to be top 5 in the league in points allowed. They’re also near the top of the conference in turnovers.

    The scheme of a light box last week was poor and Flores took full blame.

    Once they adjusted, they had the shutout going but Gostkowski and the STs did it again, as they’ve done all year. STs and a horrible up and down offense with short fields hurt the D all year, no doubt.

    Note how the D looks good when the offense is consistently moving the ball and STs isn’t leaving them out to dry.

    Joe Judge is on notice as is Gostowski. What was once a very clean, top notch STs group has faltered.

    Expect BB to be scheming this week, but not much in the last 2.

  24. Florio’s take: Lose this one, and it’s likely over for Minnesota.

    Florio’s pick: Vikings 23, Dolphins 14.
    ///////////////
    Except, you have the Redskins, Eagles, Panthers, and Packers all losing. That literally negates your comment on the Vikings game.

  25. imonfire2niteoyeah says:
    December 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    It’s a playoff game in a dome. Miami has the edge. Miami wins by 3.
    ////////////
    What? Why does Miami have the edge? Because the game is in a dome and they’re on the road? Any chance you mistakenly wrote Miami when you meant Minnesota? Or do you have no idea what you’re talking about?

  26. Even Zygi Wilf doesn’t want to live in MN…. says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Vikings won’t win another game all year.
    ///////////
    Why? Defense playing great. Offense only has to be mediocre and put up 20 points. And they play the Lions still. Vikings sacked Stafford 10 times last game. So I ask again, why? Feel free to talk X’s and O’s…if you can.

  27. Patriots 38 Steelers 27 Brady and the offense especially Gordon and Gronk will light the Steelers up they will keep it close until the 4th and the Pats pull away. Ravens 31 Bucs 14 Winston is going to get clobbered. Fins 23 Vikes 20 hate to say it but the Fins look like they are picking up steam and Cousins looks like a joke right now.

  28. conormacleod says:
    December 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    imonfire2niteoyeah says:
    December 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    It’s a playoff game in a dome. Miami has the edge. Miami wins by 3.
    ////////////
    What? Why does Miami have the edge? Because the game is in a dome and they’re on the road? Any chance you mistakenly wrote Miami when you meant Minnesota? Or do you have no idea what you’re talking about?

    ——-

    What edge? How about Miami has a winning record and Cousins can’t beat a team with a winning record…. How about “that” edge?

  29. mnmouth says:
    December 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    If the Vikings don’t beat the Dolphins no reason to believe they’ll win another game till next year
    /////////////
    Why? The have the Lions, indoors. Sacked Stafford 10 times last time they met. The have the Bears at home in the last game. And the Bears may not have anything to play for that game and just want to be healthy for playoffs. Not to mention, the Bears and Vikings may end up playing the following week in the wildcard, so the Bears may play a vanilla game just limping to get home for the playoffs. Now, what have you got?

  30. SWFLPC.INC says:
    December 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm
    conormacleod says:
    December 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    imonfire2niteoyeah says:
    December 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    It’s a playoff game in a dome. Miami has the edge. Miami wins by 3.
    ////////////
    What? Why does Miami have the edge? Because the game is in a dome and they’re on the road? Any chance you mistakenly wrote Miami when you meant Minnesota? Or do you have no idea what you’re talking about?

    ——-

    What edge? How about Miami has a winning record and Cousins can’t beat a team with a winning record…. How about “that” edge?
    //////////////////

    That’s seriously your only reason? 1 man against 53 is it now?

    Your QB is the 31st ranked QB. Vikings Defense is 5th.
    Cousins is 8th ranked QB. Dolphins Defense is 29th.
    Minnesota offense is 17th, after struggling last several games.
    Miami offense is 29th.

    Miami is 7-6 and Vikings are 6-6-1. Looking at the numbers, I have no idea how Miami has even won 7 games. And Miami is playing on the road, in the Vikings dome. That is most definitely in favor of the Vikings.

  31. jackedupboonie says:
    December 13, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    Richard Sherman playing for the Clara Clowns eliminates any sort of trap game in Seattle’s quest for 11 straight. Seahawks 33-10

    -Not arguing with you’re post because my Niners will most likely get beat soundly….BUT…if we are going to call them the Clara 49ers “Clowns”… let’s at least be intellectually consistent and call the Giants and Jets the East Rutherford Giants and East Rutherford Jets, Cowboys…the Arlington Cowboys, and Redskins….the Landover Redskins.

  32. If the Steelers defense plays even half way decent they win. No way New England stops the Steelers offense at home. Of course turnovers always plays a part. Play clean football, Steelers win!!!!!

  33. By firing the Head Coach the Packers took the lid off the pot and let the steam out.
    Now the players can relax and just ball out.
    By firing the OC the Vikings turned up the heat on everyone in the organization to prove he was the problem.
    Don’t know who will win, but Adam Gase is a good coach. I think he’ll have his team ready. They are both playing to get to the big dance, but only a fool wouldn’t admit the pressure is all on Minnesota.
    Cameron Wake is woke…they are coming for Kurt. He folds like a cheap suit under pressure.

  34. Seawhacks won’t be dangerous to anyone anywhere. Of the teams that they have beat, all of them are at or below .500. They beat a “middle of the road” Vikings team at home, in a dreadful game that saw 6 points scored through 3.5 quarters. They have never been a good road team in the playoffs, because lil russ ain’t so dangerous outside the clink.

    #foolsgold

  35. The Packers always play better with their backs against the wall, even more now that Mccarthy isn’t there to hinder them with his conservative play calling. The Bears defense might be able to slow down but not stop Rodgers. Packers 21 Bears 17

  36. Haywood J Moderated says:
    December 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm
    Seawhacks won’t be dangerous to anyone anywhere. Of the teams that they have beat, all of them are at or below .500. They beat a “middle of the road” Vikings team at home, in a dreadful game that saw 6 points scored through 3.5 quarters. They have never been a good road team in the playoffs, because lil russ ain’t so dangerous outside the clink.

    #foolsgold

    ———

    Well they did beat Dallas who is 8-5…not saying they are good, but they do have a winning record, and truthfully its probably who they will play in the first round.

  37. The question for Packers/Bears is can the Bears get some love from the refs playing on their home field? Between O-line holding no-calls and defensive holding/PI bailout calls on incomplete throws, it seems like the stripes have tilted the table in favor of Rodgers and Co. for quite some time.
    ——————————————-
    And this is coming from the guy whose team stole a tie thanks to the horrible roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews to negate the game winning INT in week 2.

  38. You make a lot of money betting against a team following their Super Bowl win. This week it’s Miami.

  39. conormacleod says:
    December 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm
    That’s seriously your only reason? 1 man against 53 is it now?
    Your QB is the 31st ranked QB. Vikings Defense is 5th.
    Cousins is 8th ranked QB. Dolphins Defense is 29th.
    Minnesota offense is 17th, after struggling last several games.
    Miami offense is 29th.
    Miami is 7-6 and Vikings are 6-6-1. Looking at the numbers, I have no idea how Miami has even won 7 games. And Miami is playing on the road, in the Vikings dome. That is most definitely in favor of the Vikings.
    ==========================================================================================
    Tannehill has a 105.7 rating, 5th best in the NFL. The problem is that he’s been injured and still is.

    Things are obviously in the Vikings’ favor. And with all of those pluses, there is no way that the Vikings could have lost to a team at home, like, I don’t know, the Bills, right?

  40. Chiefs will score 40+ yet again but this time with Berry in the line up they actually hold the other team under 30. KC 45 LAC 24.

  41. If a playoff bye were on the line, I’d bet the farm against the Steelers. There’s no pressure though, so I expect them to perform their best. Of course, the prospect of the Patriots dropping consecutive games is highly unlikely, so I’m back to betting big against Pittsburgh.

    Saints have 2 games left against CAR. Pretty hard to see Cam rolling over twice, so I expect the Saints to lose one of them. Probably the 2nd one.

  42. Went to an Iowa casino yesterday and put down money that the Bears will beat the Packers, that’s how sure I am that the Bear’s’ pass rush w a revved up Hicks will be way too much for Rodgers.

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